Tips for A*A*A* at A-Level Watch

Adaytoremember
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I have decided that I am going to pull out all the stops when I finally start my A levels, and I really want to achieve three A*s.

I've been told that the AS levels don't count for anything anymore, since they have changed, therefore I think I am only going to do three for both years.

My goal is to become a Barrister, and I would like to go down the route of earning a degree to do this. I would like to go to a university outside of the city, in a more rural location, such as Oxford. However, I am not completely averse to UCL or LSE etc.

I haven't got a straight set of A*s at GCSE (I have mainly A*s/As/Bs), therefore I would like to get the best possible results at A level as I know I was capable of much more at GCSE.

I am definitely going to take English Literature, History, and Philosophy, and if I do take four, the last would be Politics I think.

What I am really looking for is tips on getting all of my A*s.

I am considering doing bits of revision constantly throughout the year, and just flicking back through my notes right from the beginning as I think it would help to remember everything.

If anyone else has any specific tips that they have found from doing these subjects for getting an A* in English Lit, History, or Philosophy that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks very much!
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patrickwahins
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I'm currently drafting a guide on this and I'll tag you in it when I'm done.
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Adaytoremember
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(Original post by patrickwahins)
I'm currently drafting a guide on this and I'll tag you in it when I'm done.
That is really helpful, thank you very much
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12ksmith
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(Original post by patrickwahins)
I'm currently drafting a guide on this and I'll tag you in it when I'm done.
If you could tag me as well that would be much appreciated. My situation is very similar to the one above, however I wish to study medicine not law.
Thanks
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username3154254
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(Original post by patrickwahins)
I'm currently drafting a guide on this and I'll tag you in it when I'm done.
And me please!! You are a life saver thank you so much
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uponthyhorse
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AS levels don't contribute to the A-level grade for that subject anymore but they are still stand-alone qualifications (so you can take 4 and drop one leaving you with 3 A levels and 1 AS level). It's on you to see how useful it is for you though (consult a teacher if you're not sure).

(Original post by patrickwahins)
I'm currently drafting a guide on this and I'll tag you in it when I'm done.
Mind posting it in this thread when you're done so we can all just watch this thread for when it comes out? Ty
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sulaimanali
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patrickwahins tag all of us pls
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patrickwahins
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Yeah I will!
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MR1999
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(Original post by Adaytoremember)
I have decided that I am going to pull out all the stops when I finally start my A levels, and I really want to achieve three A*s.

I've been told that the AS levels don't count for anything anymore, since they have changed, therefore I think I am only going to do three for both years.

My goal is to become a Barrister, and I would like to go down the route of earning a degree to do this. I would like to go to a university outside of the city, in a more rural location, such as Oxford. However, I am not completely averse to UCL or LSE etc.

I haven't got a straight set of A*s at GCSE (I have mainly A*s/As/Bs), therefore I would like to get the best possible results at A level as I know I was capable of much more at GCSE.

I am definitely going to take English Literature, History, and Philosophy, and if I do take four, the last would be Politics I think.

What I am really looking for is tips on getting all of my A*s.

I am considering doing bits of revision constantly throughout the year, and just flicking back through my notes right from the beginning as I think it would help to remember everything.

If anyone else has any specific tips that they have found from doing these subjects for getting an A* in English Lit, History, or Philosophy that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks very much!
Whoever told you that AS levels don't count for anything anymore was wrong. Since the system's changed, there's been a decoupling of AS and A2. This means that each year you get different qualifications whereas before, both years would contribute to the same grade.

In the new system, once you carry on to your second year of study, you lose your AS qualification in that subject and whatever you got has no more value in terms of your final grade. This may have been what the person meant, but AS levels still have a lot of weight.
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Emsio8
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(Original post by patrickwahins)
I'm currently drafting a guide on this and I'll tag you in it when I'm done.
Me as well please!
I think it would help me out a lot.
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Ed5
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(Original post by Adaytoremember)
...
Well done on those fantastic GCSE results!

But my advice is don't. It may not seem it now, but it's naively ambitious and only a fraction of high achievers will reach 1 or 2, let alone the full 3. I only know two people who even got an A* at all! Regardless, 3 A* is actually excessive and no uni will ask for these grades. It makes more sense to set yourself a realistic goal so that you can feel yourself making progress towards it (and maybe even reach it!) rather than, in all likelihood, constantly missing this goal and beating yourself up about it.

I'm sure with a lot of hard work and those smart techniques you've already got planned, you'll come out with good grades, and maybe even end up in that tiny fraction. But there's no need to go overboard with your personal goals when just 1 or 2 or even no A*s like myself can get you into some of the best unis in the country.

Best of luck!
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math42
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(Original post by Adaytoremember)
I have decided that I am going to pull out all the stops when I finally start my A levels, and I really want to achieve three A*s.

I've been told that the AS levels don't count for anything anymore, since they have changed, therefore I think I am only going to do three for both years.

My goal is to become a Barrister, and I would like to go down the route of earning a degree to do this. I would like to go to a university outside of the city, in a more rural location, such as Oxford. However, I am not completely averse to UCL or LSE etc.

I haven't got a straight set of A*s at GCSE (I have mainly A*s/As/Bs), therefore I would like to get the best possible results at A level as I know I was capable of much more at GCSE.

I am definitely going to take English Literature, History, and Philosophy, and if I do take four, the last would be Politics I think.

What I am really looking for is tips on getting all of my A*s.

I am considering doing bits of revision constantly throughout the year, and just flicking back through my notes right from the beginning as I think it would help to remember everything.

If anyone else has any specific tips that they have found from doing these subjects for getting an A* in English Lit, History, or Philosophy that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks very much!
I have 4A*s with an A* in English Lit. I've always been pretty decent at writing, but this is merely helpful, of course, and not sufficient (indeed, it hardly seems necessary, judging by some exemplars I have seen). I am not sure how the newest syllabi are structured, but I shouldn't imagine they have changed too much. For me there were different "assessment objectives", and different ones would pertain to different questions in exams or to certain courseworks. I found success by familiarizing myself with these; I'd look at mark schemes and specifications to figure out exactly what the examiner wanted to see. Beyond that, it's about familiarity with the text; you want to have a good working knowledge of texts, you want to know a lot of quotes, and most importantly you want to have spent a lot of time thinking about the text's themes and have a very strong idea of multiple different ones, how they interlink and in what manner you can talk about them to grab the marks.
I have never been one for planning, but in exams you will almost certainly need to spend some time thinking about the question and jot down some thoughts prior to actually writing the main essay, even if they aren't particularly developed. You will want to practice essays, preferably timed; hopefully your teacher will give you lots of set essays and mark them and give good feedback, but if they don't, you can always have a go at marking yourself. Indeed, this can be a good exercise regardless; it is helpful to look at your writing objectively and assess not how good it is as a general piece of writing but how well it nails the mark scheme.

My general tip for A-levels is exploit every resource; I never worked myself too death and always had a lot of leisure time at A-level, but I tried to make sure I understood exactly what was required of me in each module in each subject, and I would do past papers constantly, sometimes even repeating the same papers, just trying to make myself as familiar and comfortable with the exam style as possible.

edit: To follow from what the above poster said about not trying to obtain 3A*s, I think this is reasonable advice. I never tried to achieve 4A*s. In fact, I never expected it. I expected A*A*AB at worst on results day and hoped for A*A*AA, at best A*A*A*A. The only pressure I ever put on myself was to meet my offer, beyond that, I didn't particularly care. I would say that was helpful rather than a hindrance. So be careful you do not put too much weight on your shoulders.
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stimtothesky
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(Original post by Desmos)
Whoever told you that AS levels don't count for anything anymore was wrong. Since the system's changed, there's been a decoupling of AS and A2. This means that each year you get different qualifications whereas before, both years would contribute to the same grade.

In the new system, once you carry on to your second year of study, you lose your AS qualification in that subject and whatever you got has no more value in terms of your final grade. This may have been what the person meant, but AS levels still have a lot of weight.
But many top universities have said that having a fourth AS level won't better your qualification. A*A*A* is better than A*A*Aa- they only care about relevant subjects, an de i feel your subject was relevant then you'd be carrying it on to A2. The effort of doing a fourth AS is not worth the reward. The only exception would be maths + further maths.
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Adaytoremember
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(Original post by Desmos)
Whoever told you that AS levels don't count for anything anymore was wrong. Since the system's changed, there's been a decoupling of AS and A2. This means that each year you get different qualifications whereas before, both years would contribute to the same grade.

In the new system, once you carry on to your second year of study, you lose your AS qualification in that subject and whatever you got has no more value in terms of your final grade. This may have been what the person meant, but AS levels still have a lot of weight.
That was what I thought but loads of people in my year said different, but they're probably wrong. That makes a lot more sense, I will hopefully confirm at my college choices day on the 30th and then on my enrolment interview on the 31st. Thanks a lot for the clarification.
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username3292024
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(Original post by patrickwahins)
I'm currently drafting a guide on this and I'll tag you in it when I'm done.
If I could be tagged too I'd appreciate that, cheers
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MajorFader
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(Original post by patrickwahins)
I'm currently drafting a guide on this and I'll tag you in it when I'm done.
Tag me too please 👍🏾
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username3482522
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(Original post by patrickwahins)
I'm currently drafting a guide on this and I'll tag you in it when I'm done.
You're getting spammed by notifications of people wanting you tag them on that post. :lol:

Spoiler:
Show

tag me too plzz.
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Adaytoremember
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(Original post by Ed5)
Well done on those fantastic GCSE results!

But my advice is don't. It may not seem it now, but it's naively ambitious and only a fraction of high achievers will reach 1 or 2, let alone the full 3. I only know two people who even got an A* at all! Regardless, 3 A* is actually excessive and no uni will ask for these grades. It makes more sense to set yourself a realistic goal so that you can feel yourself making progress towards it (and maybe even reach it!) rather than, in all likelihood, constantly missing this goal and beating yourself up about it.

I'm sure with a lot of hard work and those smart techniques you've already got planned, you'll come out with good grades, and maybe even end up in that tiny fraction. But there's no need to go overboard with your personal goals when just 1 or 2 or even no A*s like myself can get you into some of the best unis in the country.

Best of luck!
I know that I am overly ambitious but as my GCSEs didn't fully go the way I wanted them to I want to be more competitive as there will be applicants with 3 A*s.

I think the standard offer is A* A A but I hope I can exceed this, I want to prove to everybody that I am better than my GCSEs, I know I didn't do as much as I could.

I also think what I mean is that I just want to do really well, even if it isn't 3 A*s, I would be happy with 2 still.
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Annabel28301
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(Original post by patrickwahins)
I'm currently drafting a guide on this and I'll tag you in it when I'm done.
Tag me too please
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SmileyChap
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Could you possibly tag me also? Thank you
(Original post by patrickwahins)
I'm currently drafting a guide on this and I'll tag you in it when I'm done.
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